Honda's outboard engines share the same durability, quality and reliability of its automobiles. When Honda Marine was introduced over 40 years ago, they brought these qualities with them.
Honda Marine was recently ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Four-Stroke Outboard Engines" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Marine Engine Competitive Information Study. As this is the fourth such honor Honda has received in the past five years, we here at PDB magazine thought we should take a closer look at what sets Honda apart from the rest.
BF40 And BF50 EFI
Honda's BF40 and BF50 engines were designed to give boaters a good balance between acceleration and fuel efficiency. The pair's in-line, three-cylinder engines feature electronic fuel injection as well as several Honda-exclusive technologies, such as Boosted Low Speed Torque system and Lean Burn Control.
The Boosted Low Speed Torque system, or BLAST, advances ignition timing for explosive acceleration, while the Lean Burn Control maximizes your `toon's fuel efficiency at cruising speed, up to 20 percent! BLAST accomplishes this by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during "hammer down" acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) then steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent mixture of air and fuel.
The resulting boost in available torque at low RPM contributes to a strong holeshot to get the boat up on plane quickly. The ignition spark timing its appropriately adjusted under slower throttle advancement, ensuring a leaner air/fuel mix and high fuel efficiency.
A Peek Under The Cowling
Here's a closer look at how Honda's systems give you this result. The process begins by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during "hammer down" acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) then steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent air/fuel mixture. The resulting boost in available torque at low RPM contributes to a strong holeshot to get the boat up on plane quickly.
The ignition spark timing is appropriately adjusted under slower throttle advancement, ensuring a leaner air/fuel mix and class-leading fuel efficiency. Further contributing to the pair's exceptional performance is a Mikuni Intake System, whose long intake tracks pair with BLAST technology for strong holeshots. These powerful and practical engines are also extremely lightweight, as they each weigh in at 214 pounds, making them the lightest in their class.
Honda recognizes that fishermen aren't always looking for a high top speed or strong holeshot, and created the BF40 and BF50 with optimal performance for trolling, as well. These engines have improved 15 percent in this area, and can troll at 800 RPM.
The BF40 and BF50 EFI feature an Engine Alert System that makes use of visual, audio and RPM reducing technology to alert you if the engine is suffering damage due to overheating, low oil pressure, over-revving and the like. The tiller models use a new four-lamp warning system built right into the tiller handle, while the remote control models give you alerts through Honda's multi-function digital gauges or a special indicator built into the unit's control box.
The BF40 and BF50 are great decisions for either fresh or saltwater environments.
BF90 And BF75
The Honda BF90 and BF75 were created for boaters who want power with an efficient motor. Inspired by the engine architecture of Honda's Fit automobile, the duo's 1.5-liter, 16-valve, in-line four-cylinder engine also features electronic fuel injection.
Like the BF40 and BF50, these two lightweights also incorporate Honda's Boosted Low Speed Torque system and Lean Burn Control for explosive acceleration and optimal fuel efficiency, and performance is further improved with Honda's exclusive Variable Valve Timing and Life Electronic Control, or VTEC - BF90, which provides outstanding torque and power at higher RPMs.
Honda Marine's BF75 and BF90 afford boaters the fuel efficiency and quiet operation of Honda's technology, combined with the light weight and improved acceleration usually associated with two-stroke outboards. At 359 pounds, the engines are the lightest in their class.
Derived from racing, the VTEC (BF90) first appeared on the Acura NSX sports car. The system utilizes mid-cam lobes for high-RPM operation. The resulting boost in power provides you with the outstanding mid-range acceleration you need to blaze across the lake on your `toon, pulling a towable loaded with kids.
To ensure long-term durability, Honda engineers designed the first individually controlled cylinder cooling system for outboard engines - Three Way Cooling. The system reduces engine heat by allowing the cylinder head to run slightly cooler than the cylinder block, which greatly reduces engine wear.
The BF90 and BF75 also feature Honda's all-new high-performance gear case. A longer anti-ventilation plate helps trap water flowing to the propeller, minimizing porpoising, while a streamlined front and longer bullet reduce drag for enhanced acceleration and fuel efficiency.
A front splash plate reduces spray from the hull bottom, keeping your deck dry, and a 2.33:1 gear ratio lets you use 13- to 14-inch diameter propellers for heavier loads.
Honda has announced it will be expanding its award-winning lineup of four-stroke engines soon with the introduction of the BF60. Introduced at the 2009 Miami International Boat Show in February, the 60 horsepower outboard engine is still a prototype, but the new engine will be released soon.
The all-new BF60 will feature a design similar to the BF75 and BF90, including the use of Honda's exclusive technological innovations.
While specifications of the new engine are not yet available, Honda has indicated that the BF60 will continue its tradition of offering fuel-efficient, high-performance outboards, and will set the new best-of-class standards for the mid-range segment of the industry.
Honda Marine's full line of current production models meets rigorous California Air Resources Board (CARB) 3-Star standards, ensuring their availability and regulatory compliance in all 50 states.
For more information including model overviews and updates, video clips, and complete specifications regarding Honda products, please visit www.honda.com. For product inquiries and dealer locations, please call 800-426-7701.